Monday, November 17, 2014

If It Ain't Broke, Break It

Chuckle: "Time may be a great healer, but it's a lousy beautician."
Quote: “The seven last words of a dying church are, 'We never did it that way before.'"Unknown source   
    "Therefore Go and make disciples of all nations (people), . . ." (Matthew 28:19 NIV). ". . . you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth" (Acts 1:8 NIV).
Sadly, many churches today are either plateaued or declining in membership and relevance in their communities. It could be that traditions from the past have become too important to us at the expense of relevant worship and ministries that communicate God's love to today's generations. Let's think together about making our message more relevant to the people we need to reach. Our Lord commands us to be His witnesses to all people.
We have all heard, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." I suppose this grammatical disaster is a good statement from one standpoint, but from another, it can lead to a dangerous mindset. Prayerfully think with me. You may be the proud owner of a 1918 model-T Ford car, which is in top condition -- everything on it works the way it was designed -- it definitely isn't broken. However, you would not even consider putting it on our super highways for a coast to coast trip. It isn't broken, but it's obsolete as a reliable means of high-speed transportation. Obsolescence is the problem not brokenness.
Obsolescence, not brokenness, may be the problem for your congregation. If your church is stuck in traditions of the past and is not effective in reaching people for Christ, perhaps, a better statement would be, "if it aint broke, break it," and, in the power of the Holy Spirit, let God remake it into a church for our time that He can use to reach people of all ages. This involves caring more about reaching people than making the reached more comfortable.
Yesterday's innovation is today's obsolescence. The Model-T was quite an innovation in its day but now it's obsolete. In the same way, innovative ways of reaching people that were successful in the past may not work today. Today's young people want to know how life works and how Christianity makes it better. They want preaching, teaching, and other acts of worship to be understandable to them and relevant to their lives. It does no good to preach louder if what we are saying is not being understood. We must never change the gospel message, but we must change our methods of delivery to reach of today's generations. We must pray, study, and innovate in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Lost people will not voluntarily come to church services just because we open the doors. Instead, the church must go to them where they live, work, and play. Once reached, today's young people want to be involved in personal hands-on ministry projects. They like action, not just talk about ministries. We must be willing to rethink the way our churches function and be willing to make major changes -- changes that may make us personally uncomfortable. It's a beautiful thing when what we want and what God wants become one and the same. Then people will respond.

Love, Jerry & Dotse 


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